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Solomon – 1 Kings 1:1-14

05 Jul

King David was now very old, and no matter how many blankets covered him, he could not keep warm. So his advisers told him, “Let us find a young virgin to wait on you and look after you, my lord. She will lie in your arms and keep you warm.” So they searched throughout the land of Israel for a beautiful girl, and they found Abishag from Shunem and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful, and she looked after the king and took care of him. But the king had no sexual relations with her. About that time David’s son Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, began boasting, “I will make myself king.” So he provided himself with chariots and charioteers and recruited fifty men to run in front of him. Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “Why are you doing that?” Adonijah had been born next after Absalom, and he was very handsome. Adonijah took Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest into his confidence, and they agreed to help him become king. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s personal bodyguard refused to support Adonijah. Adonijah went to the Stone of Zoheleth near the spring of En-rogel, where he sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened calves. He invited all his brothers—the other sons of King David—and all the royal officials of Judah. But he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the king’s bodyguard or his brother Solomon. Then Nathan went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, and asked her, “Haven’t you heard that Haggith’s son, Adonijah, has made himself king, and our lord David doesn’t even know about it? If you want to save your own life and the life of your son Solomon, follow my advice. Go at once to King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, didn’t you make a vow and say to me, “Your son Solomon will surely be the next king and will sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ And while you are still talking with him, I will come and confirm everything you have said.”
1 Kings 1:1-14

Dear God, I think it is important to note that the story of Solomon cannot be told without including Nathan. Nathan is woven throughout Solomon’s (and Bathsheba’s) story. He is the prophet whom David consults about building the temple (2 Samuel 7). He is the prophet who rebukes David about what he did with Bathsheba and Uriah, and through you gave Solomon a new name–Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12). And now he is the prophet who orchestrates Solomon’s rise to the throne (1 Kings 1). Interestingly, these are the only three stories we get about Nathan.

I normally do these journals to you first thing in the morning, but as I opened the scriptures today I found myself with a lot of questions and researching a lot of things. First, I went to 1 Chronicles to see how it recorded the transition from David’s rule to Solomon’s. I was surprised to see a completely different portrait painted. The accounting of it in Chronicles was much tidier and more honorable. It really focused on David’s passing the torch to Solomon to build the temple. But I’ll talk about the temple another time. Today, I want to talk about Nathan.

I had a new thought today that I don’t think I’ve had before. Nathan apparently had a soft spot in his heart for Bathsheba and Solomon. I won’t say that he knew about David’s sin with Bathsheba before anyone else did. I’ll bet is was actually a pretty poorly kept secret. But he was the one willing to confront David. He was the one who spoke out on your behalf and on behalf of the woman. He watched her go through the loss of her child. He watched her give birth to Solomon. He got the word from you that Solomon was special and to be renamed Jedidiah (I wonder why that name didn’t stick–I searched the entire Bible, and 2 Samuel 12:25 is the only time it is ever mentioned).

Fast forward many years. David is at the end of his life and his fourth-born son, Adonijah (the first three are seemingly dead) starts to position himself for the throne. 1 Kings 1:6 seems to go out of its way to tell us that he wasn’t a good guy, but was spoiled and undisciplined. This apparently got Nathan’s attention and he decided it was time to act on behalf of the boy whom you had told him to rename and his mother.

Nathan probably doesn’t get enough love from history. Yes, the writer of Samuel and Kings gives us what we need to know about his role in things, but it’s almost too brief. I almost missed it. He was apparently a man who cared about your righteousness enough to speak truth to power and then risk his life to do what he perceived to be your will.

Father, make me a man of this kind of courage. Help me to know when to speak and when not to speak. Help me to know when to act and when not to act. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. But do it in reverse order of that prayer. Give me the wisdom to know when you are calling me to act, when you are calling me to not act but pray, and when you are calling me to accept a situation. Give me the courage to follow your call. And when it is time to accept your judgment and a situation about which I am to do nothing, fill me with your peace.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2019 in 1 Kings, 2 Samuel, Solomon

 

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